Memento Mori – Latin for “remember you will die” – is a symbolic trope in Christian art that serves to remind the audience of their mortality.
At the center of this stylized, allegorical melodrama, a tyrannical matriarch lies helpless and alone on her deathbed. Her family – scattered in different corners of the house – impatiently wait for their unbeloved queen to finally die. The audience becomes a voyeur into this private, claustrophobic world where the Matriarch’s daughters trade biting insults, her maid steals her jewelry, and her grandchildren discuss gay sex while doing drugs. After she takes her last breath, surrounded by kitsch mementos in-lieu of adoring mourners, her family members, and the audience, are confronted with processing the death of someone who’s legacy is questionable.
An unsympathetic and humorously vulgar analysis of the archetypal deathbed scene, “Memento Mori” probes the effects of inter-generational trauma, imposed moral conformity, and sexual repression within the microcosm of the family unit.